When Jo Robinson won my Doodle Contest, she didn’t just win a doodle, she also won a story, written by me, using the five words she provided. Her words are:
Below is the result of my storytelling efforts. Enjoy!
Andrea fought her way through the dense underbrush with little success, her machete now as dull as a dollar store steak knife. Nonetheless, she pressed onward, ignoring her exhaustion and the thorns that mercilessly slashed her clothes and pierced her skin. She was close now. She knew it. She didn’t know how she knew – her destination could not be found in the travel books or on any map – but she knew.
Or did she? A niggling little pang of doubt poked at her brain stem. Her husband’s words echoed in her head, in a whispered but never-ending loop.
“You want to go to where?” he had sputtered, aghast.
“Zimbabwe,” Andrea replied.
“Zimbabwe? Are you nuts?” He shook his head. “If you want to go someplace, why don’t you, me and the kids go to the Poconos? They got that go-kart place there.”
The Poconos was lovely this time of year, her brain conceded, but a spiritual journey was a bit more important than undersized cars with lawnmower engines.
Andrea had eaten all the food packed in her duffel except for some prune jelly. Why did I buy this? she wondered. Then she remembered the three-for-one sale at the ACME and amended her thoughts: Why did I buy three of these?
But food was food. She tipped back her head, let the wriggling chunks slide down her throat, and hoped that the jungle had a few clean restrooms.
A final dull whack of her machete sent Andrea sprawling into a clearing of swaying yellow grass. In the center of this place stood a tower of a man clad in black and still as stone.
She looked up into his eyes and could feel his stare burrow into her very soul, revealing everything about her: her thoughts and fears and desires – and that time when she was ten when she picked her nose and ate it.
“Are you…” she gasped.
The man tipped his head in assent.
“The Great and All-Knowing Weatherwax?”
Again the man nodded.
Andrea collapsed onto the ground in supplication. “I have been searching for you, sir. Searching for you for weeks. Traveling across oceans and deserts and through this jungle hoping and praying that we would meet. Hoping and praying that you could bestow upon me some kind of advice or wisdom. Could you tell me something? Anything? Something that will give me purpose and meaning? Something I can do to improve my life and the lives of those around me?”
He again nodded. “This I can do. Listen, my child.”
“I’m listening,” Andrea held her breath.
Weatherwax closed his eyes. He spread out his arms and gave himself over to the will of a higher power.
Then he spoke, his words a mournful, otherworldly whisper.
“Anybody but Trump,” he said.